Pumpkin Week wrapped up this morning with donuts, hot out of the oven. The folks at Mighty-O Donuts in Seattle have perfected the organic, vegan donut. I have not perfected it quite yet, but after a false start, I’m on my way. You will need a non-stick donut pan in order to make these; I bought a Norpro for around $10.

I’d never made donuts before, but I stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin cake donuts on the King Arthur Flour website that looked amazing. Their recipe isn’t vegan- it calls for 3 large eggs. I was hoping that I could follow the recipe exactly as it is, and simply substitute the flax-water vegan egg substitute. I found out it’s not that simple.

My first batch came out bumpy. The batter was very thick and when I spooned it into the pan, it was stiff with ridges. I thought maybe that was normal and the donuts would smooth out as they baked. Didn’t happen. This is what they looked like when I took them out of the pan:


Fortunately I still had half the batter left. I added some almond milk to thin it out, and some baking soda to help the donuts puff up a bit more.  The second batch came out much better. I’m posting the recipe with these changes. (I’d also cut the sugar and salt by a third and increased the spices from the original recipe.) As soon as I took them out of the pan, Matt ate three of them on the spot. He said they tasted “like cake”. Since these donuts are baked, not fried, I say, “Let them eat cake!”

Vegan Pumpkin Cake Donuts

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 9 Tbsp warm water
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
  • 1½ cups pumpkin purée (1 can pumpkin)
  • ⅓ cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1¾ cups + 2 tablespoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease one or two 6-count donut pans.
  2. Combine ground flaxseed and warm water and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat together the oil, flax-water mixture, sugar, pumpkin, milk, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.
  5. Fill the wells of the donut pans about ¾ full; use a ¼ cup of batter in each well.
  6. If the batter doesn’t smooth out, add a little more milk. Bake the donuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
  7. Remove the donuts from the oven, and after about 3 minutes, loosen their edges and transfer them to a rack to cool. (If you only have one pan, repeat with rest of batter.)
  8. While the donuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with the cinnamon-sugar.
  9. If there are any left, cool completely and wrap airtight; store at room temperature for several days.